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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(3), 831; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19030831

The Role of Macrophages in Neuroinflammatory and Neurodegenerative Pathways of Alzheimer’s Disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, and Multiple Sclerosis: Pathogenetic Cellular Effectors and Potential Therapeutic Targets

1
Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, University of Catania, 95123 Catania, Italy
2
IRCCS Centro Neurolesi “Bonino-Pulejo”, 98124 Messina, Italy
3
Department of Formative Processes, University of Catania, 95124 Catania, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 February 2018 / Revised: 9 March 2018 / Accepted: 12 March 2018 / Published: 13 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Macrophages in Inflammation)
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Abstract

In physiological conditions, different types of macrophages can be found within the central nervous system (CNS), i.e., microglia, meningeal macrophages, and perivascular (blood-brain barrier) and choroid plexus (blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier) macrophages. Microglia and tissue-resident macrophages, as well as blood-borne monocytes, have different origins, as the former derive from yolk sac erythromyeloid precursors and the latter from the fetal liver or bone marrow. Accordingly, specific phenotypic patterns characterize each population. These cells function to maintain homeostasis and are directly involved in the development and resolution of neuroinflammatory processes. Also, following inflammation, circulating monocytes can be recruited and enter the CNS, therefore contributing to brain pathology. These cell populations have now been identified as key players in CNS pathology, including autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, and degenerative diseases, such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. Here, we review the evidence on the involvement of CNS macrophages in neuroinflammation and the advantages, pitfalls, and translational opportunities of pharmacological interventions targeting these heterogeneous cellular populations for the treatment of brain diseases. View Full-Text
Keywords: microglia; macrophages; neuroinflammation; Alzheimer’s disease; multiple sclerosis; Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis microglia; macrophages; neuroinflammation; Alzheimer’s disease; multiple sclerosis; Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
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Mammana, S.; Fagone, P.; Cavalli, E.; Basile, M.S.; Petralia, M.C.; Nicoletti, F.; Bramanti, P.; Mazzon, E. The Role of Macrophages in Neuroinflammatory and Neurodegenerative Pathways of Alzheimer’s Disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, and Multiple Sclerosis: Pathogenetic Cellular Effectors and Potential Therapeutic Targets. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 831.

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